Hardik threatens Congress: Announce Patidar reservation plan or face consequences!
As Congress woos Patidar leader Hardik Patel for the upcoming Gujarat elections, apparently he has decided to play hard to get. In what appeared to be a warning, Hardik tweeted that "Congress should clarify its stand on granting constitutional reservation to Patidars by November 3, 2017, or else there will be incidents like the one at Amit Shah's rally in Surat." Here's more!
What had happened in Amit Shah's rally?
In September, BJP President Amit Shah's public meeting, meant to showcase BJP's support to Patidars, saw Patel's agitators go on a rampage, shouting pro-Hardik slogans. This forced Shah to cut short his speech. Patel agitators had allegedly also disrupted Shah's Gujarat Gaurav Yatra in Karmsad.
Congress courts Hardik for an alliance
Hardik's demand to the Congress comes at a time when the latter is trying to interest Hardik in an alliance. The firebrand leader had earlier met Congress poll in-charge Ashok Gehlot to discuss the possibility. There were also reports that Patel had a secret meeting with Congress VP Rahul Gandhi. Both parties have, however, denied any such meeting and have accused BJP of snooping.
What is Hardik's demand?
Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik stated that during his meeting with Gehlot, he had demanded a clarification on whether reservation under OBC category will be provided to Patidars. Hardik expressed disinterest in Patidar quota under economically backward class (EBC) category saying that EBC has no validity. Congress's Gujarat unit said the party's legal team was working on a formula for Patidars' reservation.
Now, what does Hardik's tweet imply?
Hardik's aggressive tweet indicates that in case he decides to form an alliance with Congress, he won't play second fiddle. If BJP fails to win, Hardik's clout might increase. It is possible that he may be on the streets campaigning against Congress's betrayal seeking a better deal during the 2019 LS elections. With this 24-year old, yet ineligible to contest elections, anything is possible!